Eisai joins international team to accelerate TB treatment development

Eisai Co., Ltd., announced on Monday that it has become a signatory to the Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator partnership and is committed to helping with the development of innovative and effective treatments against tuberculosis.

The TBDA program, launched in June 2012, is a collaborative effort between seven pharmaceutical companies, six research laboratories and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the discovery of novel treatments for tuberculosis infections.

The goal of the TBDA is to create a potent drug that can cure patients with confirmed cases of TB within one month. Existing drugs require six months of treatment to cure infection and were developed approximately 50 years ago, rendering them ineffective against drug-resistant TB.

Under the terms of the TBDA agreement, signatories share data and compound libraries with one another to work together toward the development of potent TB treatment. Eisai will be responsible for sharing its data on screening against TB and assisting in the development of new TB therapies.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the lungs and internal organs. It is highly contagious and is the second leading infectious cause of death globally. In 2011 alone 1.4 million people died from TB.

Since treatment for TB takes six months to cure infection, many patients discontinue treatment before they are cured, which often leads to further spread of infection, drug resistance and death. The TBDA hopes to decrease both the prevalence of TB and the rate of mortality with an innovative drug treatmemt.